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OTRC: James Franco is returning to 'General Hospital'

James Franco appears in a scene from 'General Hospital' in a February 2011 episode.

James Franco is set to appear yet again on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital," which has featured him on and off since 2009.

The 33-year-old actor will reprise his role of Franco, a serial killer and performance artist, on at least one episode, an ABC spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com on Monday, July 25.

Franco's first appearance will be made on an episode that is set to air on September 20, the spokesperson said, adding that Franco will "be on the show for a while."

The news comes just weeks before the release of his new film, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which is due to hit theaters on August 5. The movie is a prequel to the film franchise, which depicts the power struggle of apes whose intelligence was boosted via human experimentation.

Specific details regarding Franco's "General Hospital" storyline and the number of episodes that will feature the character have not been revealed.

Franco began playing his recurring role on "General Hospital" in November 2009 and has appeared in at least 40 episodes since then. The most recent aired at the end of February, just after Franco and actress Anne Hathaway co-hosted the 2011 Oscars.

Hathaway, who earned an Academy Award nod for her part in the 2008 film "Rachel Getting Married," and Franco, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 2010 movie "127 Hours" received weak reviews for their hosting stint. Franco recently told Playboy magazine that he did not think the script they were told to follow was good.

ABC's other two soap operas, "All My Children" and "One Life To Live," are set to end their network television runs after some 40 years on the air.

"All My Children" is scheduled to go off the air on September 23 and ABC will broadcast the series finale of "One Live To Live" in January 2012.

Earlier this month, ABC announced that the shows are set to receive new life on the Web. The production company Prospect Park has licensed the shows as part of an "exclusive multi-year, multi-platform deal" that allows the programs' stories to continue beyond their television finale dates.

Ratings have fallen for many soap operas on different networks in recent years amid a changing society, which sees more women in the workplace during the day, and the rising popularity of reality, game and talk shows.

Release dates for the online versions of "All My Children" and "One Life To Live" have not been announced. ABC and Prospect Park representatives had no immediate comment about whether cast members from both shows will continue to star on the online versions of the soap operas.

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